Health technology giant Philips announced CEO Frans van Houten is stepping down.
The surprising announcement comes as the Dutch company is affected by a massive product recall that has almost halved its market value over the past year.
Van Houten will be replaced on Oct. 15 by Roy Jakobs, head of the company’s Connected Care businesses.
“The supervisory board and current Philips CEO Frans van Houten have agreed that with the end of his third term in sight, the time is right for the change in leadership,” Philips said in a statement.
Philips shares are still down near 60% since June 2021, when it announced it was recalling 5.5 million ventilators. That process has lopped almost $30 billion off Philips’ value.
According to Reuters, during his almost 12-year tenure Van Houten led the transformation of the conglomerate into a focused healthcare specialist, spinning off its lighting and consumer electronics divisions.
Philips now focuses on medical imaging, monitoring and diagnostic equipment and competes against U.S. General Electric and Germany Siemens Healthineers.
“I’m happy with the outcome”, Van Houten told reporters. “It’s always difficult of course to let go, but it is a logical moment to hand over after 12 years.”